Spent the last couple hours installing a USA SPEC PA15-HON3 into my 2008 Acura MDX.  It’s a relatively simple install, but not one that is well documented on the Internet.  So…here’s my USA SPEC PA15-HON3 into a 2008 Acura MDX install tutorial.

Installation is not terribly difficult, and from beginning to end will probably take 1 to 2 hrs.

Also helpful here – see the installation instructions for the 2007 Acura Music link.  It has additional pictures that will help you.

  • Remove the plastic panel on the outside/door side of the glovebox.  Simply pry off.  (See image – Step 01.)  Also, see Step 5 and 6 from Acura music link install for a good pic on this.
  • Remove single philips screw holding trim piece on passenger side of dash.
  • Remove trim piece on driver side of radio.  This piece is pried off, but has been factory glued.  I used a screw driver and a scraper to pry it off. (Step 02)
  • Remove plastic piece at bottom of radio.  Pry off gently.  (Step 03a,b).
  • Remove 4 screws holding (Step 04a&b).
  • Place towel on dash under radio, pull out radio. (Step 05a,b)
  • Remove plug from back of head unit, connect up plastic harnesses from USA Spec PA15-HON3.  Plug you want is 2nd from right in image.  (Step 06)
  • Set dip switches – 1. On or Off, 2 Off, 3 On, 4 On Step 07)
  • Do a test hook up of USA Spec PA15-HON3 to see if everything works at this point.  Turn on Radio to XM.  Use seek + and – to move between playlists.  (Step 08)
  • Remove panel on driver side of console  Hide USA Spec behind driver side panel.  (Step 09)
  • I used velcro to secure USA Spec PA15-HON3 to plastic in console.  (Step 10a,b,c,d)
  • Drill hole in passenger side storage compartment.  Use 5/8 drill bit.  (Step 11a,b)
  • Run cable from storage compartment to USA Spec PA15-HON3 unit. (Step 12)
  • Secure iPod in storage compartment with Velcro.
  • Congrats – you’re all done!
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Recently “Search Enhance” ads started to appear on the results for my Google searches.   After a little work, I discovered that the cause was an add-in that was bundled with a Firefox add-on that I downloaded to capture YouTube videos.
To disable “Search Enhance” ads, you need to go to FireFox > Add Ons > Extensions and disable “Video File Download”, or my specific case “Video File Download – Download YouTube Videos 1.5”.  Once that is disabled, “Search Enhance” ads will no longer appear.

Spent a couple frustrated afternoons trying to get my Acura MDX homelink to open my Liftmaster garage door.  I followed the instructions in the manual, but no matter what I would do the garage door wouldn’t open.

As it turns out, there are two steps required to get this to work.  You have to teach the MDX how to open the garage, AND you have to set the Liftmaster to accept the signal from your MDX.  It’s the second part, about setting the Lifetmaster to accept the MDX signal that is not documented in the MDX user manual.

Here are the steps I found to get my Acura MDX to open my Liftmaster garage door via homelink:
1) Hold down the button on the garage remote AND the button on the car (pos #1) AT THE SAME TIME.

2) Stop when the red light in the car’s ceiling starts blinking fast. You’re done.  This programs the garage signal into the homelink system.

3) Now park the car close to the gate. Very close.

4) Find the “learning button” on your Liftmaster. It’s supposed to be on the motor’s surface.  For me, it was an orange button on the back face of the unit.

5) Press the learning button and run to the car.  You have 30 seconds to get there are complete step 6.

6) Hold down the same button inside the car (pos #1) until it starts blinking fast.

I found these instructions on the AcuraZine forums at: http://rdx.acurazine.com/forums/showthread.php?p=12322367#post12322367 .  Thanks Levy for the help!

I have recently saved a lot of disk space by overwriting unused (empty) disk space within a VM with 0s (zeros) and then recloning the VM.  When all your empty disk space is 0’s, there’s a huge compression benefit.  Here’s how it played out, and how I saved 10 GB of raw disk space.

  • I started with a VMware machine that consumed 30 GB of space on my host hard disk
  • The VMware machine had a 35 Gb hard disk, of which 16 Gb was free space
  • I downloaded “sDelete” from Microsoft (formerly a Sysinternals tool)
  • I defragmented the drive, using the Windows XP defrag utility (I don’t think this had any impact other than speed optimization)
  • Installed sDelete in the VM, and from the command line ran “sDelete -c”.  This overwrites all empty disk space with zeros
  • I then cloned the VM (full independent clone)
  • The result was that the VMware machine now consumed only 20 GB of space on my host hard disk.

Bottom line – this processed saved me 10Gb of hard disk space.  Hope you get similar results.

Recently, I’ve had to distribute a large VMware virtual machine. The VMware image, uncompressed, as it sits on my hard disk is 21.3 GB in size.  I compressed the image with WinZip, RAR and 7zip in order to determine which was the most efficient compression algorythm (at least for this one VM).  Here are my results:

  • Uncompressed Size: 21.3 GB
  • Winzip: 10.5 GB
  • WinRAR: 9.7 GB
  • 7Zip: 8.8 GB

For WinZip, I chose bzip2 compression, or Maximum compression as it is know in earlier versions of WinZip.  For RAR, I chose “Good”, and for 7Zip I chose “Maximum”.  For all three, there are many compression options, and I chose, as a general rule, the 2nd most compact.  The more compact, the more time it takes to compress.   Hope this helps you decide which tool to use to compress your VM images.

The eclipse and Rational Application Developer workspace list (that shows up when you launch RAD or eclipse), if you’ve installed to the default location is in <root install directory> \configuration\.settings\org.eclipse.ui.ide.prefs.

If you’ve installed to the default location this will be \Program Files\IBM\SDP\configuration\.settings\org.eclipse.ui.ide.prefs.

No long blog post here – if you’ve found this blog post, then you know why you need to know this location.

Trying to figure out which wii games to get for your kids?  We got a wii for christmas last year.  Love it.  Great fun.  My only issue is that there are so many games, it’s hard to decide which are worth getting.

I have two kids, a girl 5 and a boy 3.  Here are their favourites:

The Girl loves Disney Princess and WarioWare.   What makes both of them work is that the actions required of the player are quite in line with what my girl can do.  Warioware is a particularly good one as it’s actually fun for the rest of us to play.  If we’re having friends over that have never seen a wii, this is the one we load up.  The bowling game in Wii Play is also a favourite – and oddly enough, one that she can actually beat me in every once in a while.

The boy loves Diego’s Safari Rescue.  Again, the thing about this is it has actions he can handle, and as a bonus, there’s no time limits or even a way to win or lose the game.  You just guide Diego through a variety of adventures at your own pace. 

The boy doesn’t have the coordination really to do much else.  However, we do quite enjoy playing Link’s Crossbow Training together.  I am and he shoots.  Nothing says quality time like a little shooting with the boy.   Also, the boy enjoys “playing” Excite Truck with me.  I do all the work, but I give him a controller and he pretends (or maybe even thinks) he’s driving.

Those are the key ones, which I’d recommend to any parent.   Personally, my favourites would have to be Super Mario Galaxy, Ghost Squad and Excite Truck

I hope this helps, as if there’s one thing I will admit about the wii…though I love the console, there are many more bad games than there are good.  Good luck!

Just got a new Lenovo ThinkPad T61 – T61p, actually.  It’s awesome.  However, it came preloaded with a bunch of stuff I didn’t want, so I decided to format and start from scratch.  That’s always and adventure.

All went well, until I tried to install the Audio Driver.  I kept getting an error that read: “SoundMax – the HDA audio Bus driver is required and not found.”

Turns out the solution for this is a Microsoft patch, KB888111.   The thing is, that the patch is not available from the Microsoft site.

Apparently, I’m not the only one who has had this problem – as The Google will attest.  And thankfully the solution was right in front of me the entire time.  The KB 888111 patch is avaiable from Lenovo right on the T61 driver page, it’s just labelled Q888111.  Here’s the direct link: http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/document.do?lndocid=MIGR-68974 .  Install the patch, and then the audio driver, and you’ll be in business.

Edit: Dec 2014 – Looks like link to Q888111 has moved: http://support.lenovo.com/ca/en/downloads/ds001699

This is an older problem I ran into, but one I remember fondly.  Sort of.

For some reason, my propane BBQ refused to get hot.  The flame would light, but stay so low, the BBQ would never provide enough heat to melt a chocolate bar. 

What I didn’t realize is that newer propane tanks contain a self regulating feature that will automatically slow down the flow of fuel if it thinks it’s too high.  Nice feature – but one that I missed in the documentation. 

To get fuel back to full flow, just disconnect and reconnect the tank from the BBQ.  This will reset the regulator, and you should be able to light’er up and grill away.

Happy grilling!

I have a Canon PowerShot S400.  One day out of the blue I start to get a message on the screen reading “Memory Card Error”.  Camera no longer will take pictures, and some pictures on the card were corrupt.

Turns out the error is a defect, that Canon will fix, even if the warranty is void.  Details on the Canon coporate web site.

For the images that were corrupt, I found a utility to uncorrupt the images.  Klix software worked for me.